Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, Feb 11, 2015
What’s New This Week?
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
New! Lunch Reservations Coming to Be Our Guest Restaurant: Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom Park has been a Guest favorite at the Walt Disney World Resort since opening during the New Fantasyland expansion. Beginning Feb. 25, 2015, reservations can be made for the fast-casual lunch experience at Be Our Guest Restaurant. You will have the option to pre-order your meal 30 days prior up to 5 minutes before your reservation. Lunch is served daily from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Reservations can be made beginning Feb. 25, 2015 by visiting My Disney Experience, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. The 180 day booking window applies. As with all dining reservations, a credit card guarantee is required at the time of reservation and the standard cancellation policy applies
Reminder! Monorail Refurbishments in February and March: The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System will undergo refurbishment that will impact the Resort and Express monorail beams on select days in February and March. The modified routes will be in effect on Feb. 3-5, Feb. 9-12, Feb. 23-26 and March 2-5, 2015from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. During these times, Monorails on the Resort beam will travel between Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Magic Kingdom® Park. Monorails on the Express beam will now make an additional stop at Disney’s Contemporary Resort as they travel between Magic Kingdom Park and the Transportation and Ticket Center. Resort Guests traveling to Epcot® can either board a Monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to the Epcot line, or they can take a Walt Disney World Resort bus directly from their resorts to Epcot. Monorail service will continue to be available from all stations while this work takes place. Monorail operating hours will remain unchanged. Guests may note a difference in the way they board the Monorail and should allow for additional travel time to reach their destinations. Guests staying at impacted Resorts will receive in-room communication upon their arrival.
New! Pinterest Pin Scavenger Hunt at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: The festival’s whimsical topiaries featuring favorite characters are a great way for children to learn about different types of flowers and plants, while marveling at the elaborate detail in each piece. Fans of “Frozen” will be transported to Arendelle with a new scene straight from the film’s finale featuring Anna and Elsa. This year, families can turn checking out the topiaries into a kid-friendly game with an interactive Pinterest Pin scavenger hunt. Parents print the Pin at home and, once at Epcot, little ones can follow the map to discover topiaries of their favorite characters throughout the park.
New! Two Kids Play Areas at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: One of things kids love the most about the festival is the presence of the creatively themed play gardens with state-of-the-art climbing equipment and hands-on activities. This year, there are two play areas: Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden and Cactus Road Rally Garden with Mater and Lightning McQueen topiaries. When the sun sets, the fun doesn’t stop thanks to illuminated topiaries and play gardens that glow brightly for an after-dark festival experience.
New! New Merchandise Announced for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: The merchandise events team has created a variety of items especially for this event including apparel, drinkware, accessories and more. This year, the Sorcerer Mickey topiary takes center stage as the main logo on several items including a coffee mug, magnet, and tote bag (the mug features a hidden broom topiary image inside). The Disney pin team created several limited edition pins featuring the topiaries that will be found throughout the theme park including the new Anna and Elsa topiaries inspired by Disney’s “Frozen”. Finally, we will release a new Dooney & Bourke collection designed by Disney Design Group artist Paola Gutierrez. This black-and-white pattern shows silhouettes of Disney characters riding vintage bicycles. Select bags released during the Festival will include a specially designed hangtag.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
New! The Trolley Car Cafe Now Open: This month, coffee lovers and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Cast alike celebrated the grand opening of the park’s newest Hollywood hangout—The Trolley Car Café. Located on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset, this repurposed Pacific Electric Rail station is the perfect spot for Guests to find their favorite Starbucks® selection and a few classic treats crafted by Disney chefs.
Reminder! Sorcerers Hat Now Closed for Removal: With the park’s central hub being reconfigured, the Sorcerer’s Hat will be removed and the pin merchandise location was relocated to Sunset Ranch located on Sunset Boulevard beginning Jan. 7. Each day more and more of the Hat is disappearing. Here’s a video of the hat as of Feb 8, 2015.
Reminder! Two New Specialty Cupcakes Available: Beginning Feb. 2, you can enjoy a Lady and the Tramp Valentine’s Day red velvet cupcake with dark chocolate ganache or a Cinderella vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting for just $5.19 each. The Lady and The Tramp and Cinderella cupcakes both will be available at the following quick service locations: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., Rosie’s All American Café and The Trolley Car Café. These cupcakes are included in Disney Dining Plan, the Valentine’s Day cupcake is available through March 1 and the Cinderella cupcake is available through March. 29.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
New! Tree of Life New Animal Carvings Debut: In the early morning hours of Feb. 7, construction walls around the Tree of Life came down, revealing the icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park like never before with bold, outstretched roots and newly revealed animal carvings. Each carving was done with the most elaborate attention to detail. From the tiniest of insects, to giant crocodiles—it is clear these animals were treated with the same attentive care as each of the living animals who call Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park home. The work done around the Tree of Life not only gives Guests the chance to get up-close to the massive icon for new photo opportunities but it also helps open up the area to assist with Guest flow and way-finding.
New! Starbucks Coming to Creature Comforts: Creature Comforts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will re-open this summer, re-imagined as a new Food & Beverage location serving Starbucks® coffee and espresso beverages, Frappuccino® blended beverages and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries. As shared earlier, the store will be the fourth in-park location serving Starbucks at Walt Disney World Resort and sixth in the United States. Starbucks® is a perfect fit for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park because of the shared commitment to improving the environment.
New! Fastpass+ Kiosk Location Change: Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 11, new construction walls will be installed at Island Mercantile. The FastPass+ kiosks will no longer be available at this location. The FastPass+ Cast Members previously located at Island Mercantile will temporarily move to across from the Disney Vacation Club Information Center, next to Pizzafari.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
New! Skip Front Desk, Go Directly to Resort Room: Beginning mid-February, eligible Guests staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will have the option to go directly to their hotel room once it is ready, without the need to stop at the Front Desk. In order to directly go to their room, Guests must complete two steps: 1.Have MagicBands for current stay shipped to their home and 2.Complete the Online Check-In process including: Pay in full for their reservation or establish a credit card and PIN, and provide a method of communication (either text or email). If the Guest has completed all eligibility steps, they will receive a message via email and/or text prior to their arrival notifying them of their room number and the option of going directly to their room.Upon arriving at the hotel, the Guest will be greeted by Curbside Cast and will have the option to choose a traditional check-in or go directly to their room.
New! Watch Wild About Safety With Timon and Pumbaa on Resort TV: Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort® can now view the entire series of Disney Wild About Safety® animated videos on Channel 81 on their in-room televisions. There are a total of eight award winning videos that will rotate on a continuous loop. Each video is approximately twelve minutes in length and covers such topics as water, transportation, health, and environmental safety.
Update! Purple Martin Birdhouses Coming to Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will welcome some very special Guests to the islands. We are so excited to announce that the resort has been chosen to be part of a company initiative to get families and kids into nature by installing a purple martin birdhouse near the Martinique Beach. The bird house is tentatively scheduled to be installed the week of Feb. 2, 2015, and hopefully the beautiful purple martin birds will begin to migrate. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will also proudly be hosting a migratory bird species, the purple martin. Within the next few weeks, construction of bird housing until will begin along the edge of the Sassagoula River, in front of Building 95 at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
Reminder! New Shops Open at Downtown Disney: As Downtown Disney continues to transform into Disney Springs, the first retail locations celebrated their grand openings recently in the area that will be known as The Landing. The first is APEX by Sunglass Hut, which offers the latest in sports and activewear sunglasses. Guests can enjoy immersive displays, including a lens simulator that allows shoppers to test lenses in a variety of environments ranging from the beach, dawn, open water, snow and roadway. The store is located across from Paradiso 37. The second new store is Chapel Hats, which specializes in fashion hats and headwear for all ages. The store carries a variety of hats including fedoras, floppy hats, fascinators and more. The shop is located between Raglan Road and Portobello.
Reminder! Village Causeway Opens Soon: The new Village Causeway, the structure over the water in the Marketplace between Rainforest Café and T-REX, opens to Guests on Friday, Feb. 13.
February 9–17: The Sweetheart Collection debuts at Once Upon a Toy in the Downtown Disney Marketplace.
February 13: Drop in if you dare, as we celebrate Friday, the 13th with a special artist showcase featuring Brian Blackmore, Tyler Dumas, Quynh Kimball and Richard Terpstra from 4 – 6 p.m. at Tower Hotel Gifts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as we celebrate the release of some of their new pieces in the Hollywood Tower Hotel authentic collection.
February 13–18: Renowned international artist Larry Dotson will be at the Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace, throughout the week during store hours.
February 15–17: Duncan® Yo-Yo Professionals will show you the strings as they perform fun and amazing Yo-Yo tricks at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
February 19–24: David E. Doss will appear to debut some of his newest works at Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace.
Closures and Refurbishments
Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.